Research Director

Dr. James Dunn

Dr. James Dunn has a background in biology, engineering, and medicine. Dr. Dunn obtained his B.S. degree in Biology and Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interest focuses on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine of the gastrointestinal system. Dr. Dunn’s laboratory is part of the NIH Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium, and is also funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for neural progenitor cell therapy. Dr Dunn has extensive experience with animal models of intestinal disease. His lab developed an in vivo model to test the ability of intestinal stem cells to self-renew and to differentiate into various cell lineages. Dr. Dunn is also developing a device that will induce growth and lengthening of the intestine. 

Mission Statement


To generate missing tissue for infants and children with organ insufficiency



Understand the interaction between stem cells and their environment

Develop cell-based therapy for pediatric disorders

Define the effect of mechanical force on cell and tissue growth

Research Team

Chih-hsin Cheng

After pursuing his graduate training in Maryland, Chih-hsin moved west to enjoy the sunshine in California.


He joined Stanford and began to explore various molecular pathways and animal models in order to understand the fundamentals of cell development and its relationship to disease progression. In addition to routine bench work, Chihhsin feels honored to have the opportunity to cooperate with teams to set up and manage labs. Currently he is focusing on utilizing enteric stem cells to advance his studies.

Chihhsin also devotes himself to spending time with his family and building LEGO models while he is off duty.


Hadi Hosseini

Hadi Hosseini is a postdoctoral research fellow. He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics from Washington University in 2017.


He has extensive experience in using Multiphysics (FEA/FEM) modeling for biomechanics and bio-field applications, calibrating models, and optimizing input parameters using in vitro data. In the lab, Hadi is working on the short bowel syndrome (SBS) project, dedicated to helping patients born with SBS. Recent experimental observations have seen that mechanical distraction may play a role in a potential cure, although some technical complications should be addressed. Hadi is trying to use his finite element modeling, programming and my scientific knowledge to investigate the role of mechanical forces as a tool for intestinal lengthening.

Hadi enjoys playing sand volleyball, spike ball, biking, and exploring the lovely Bay area!


Eric Kramer

Eric Kramer holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder, and is a 2017 graduate of the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellowship. 


Eric has designed novel devices for minimally invasive surgery in the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and general surgical domains, and is currently developing a biodegradable adaptation of an implantable device for distraction enterogenesis.  The device will provide pediatric patients afflicted with Short Bowel Syndrome and consequential intestinal malabsorption with a minimally invasive, resorbable treatment for lengthening the small bowel, at a time when alternative therapies are highly invasive, e.g. surgical small bowel resection or parenteral nutrition.


Po-Yu (Steve) Lin

Steve Lin is a research associate in Dr. Dunn's Lab. In 2013, he received his Master's Degree in Bioengineering at UCLA and is currently working to complete his PhD as well.


Steve's research interests include stem cell therapy and tissue engineering. The focus of his research is regarding intestinal stem cell niche and its differentiation. For his project, Steve is studying the effects of biochemical and environmental cue on the differentiation of stem cells into mature intestinal epithelium. He has developed a culturing model that allows long term culture of intestinal epithelium in 2D which provides a better platform for the study of epithelium in vitro. Steve is also studying the interaction between differentiated epithelium and intestinal subepithelial myofibroblasts.

Other than doing research, Steve enjoys reading, watching movies, playing tennis, getting kicked and punched in Muay Thai class, and working out with loud music in the background. He is an avid coffee drinker, and can be found either in the coffee shop or on his way there.

Steve can be reached at


Tommy Nguyen

Tommy is a temporary research employee in Dr. James Dunn’s lab.


In 2018, he completed his B.S. in Bioengineering with an emphasis on biomaterials and regenerative medicine at UCLA. Prior to Dr. Dunn’s arrival at Stanford from UCLA in 2016, Tommy was an undergraduate research assistant in his lab. He later rejoined the lab in 2018 at Stanford while he takes a gap year to apply for an M.S. in Bioengineering. Currently, his research focuses on designing and fabricating three-dimensionally printed polymeric springs for distraction enterogenesis to treat short bowel syndrome.

In his free time, Tommy likes hiking, traveling, cooking, eating brunch, and watching YouTube.


Jun-Beom Park

Junbeom(JB) joined Dr. Dunn’s Lab in August 2017 as a visiting scholar from South Korea.


JB is a pediatric surgeon interested in short bowel syndrome (which results in malnutrition and growth failure in children), and regeneration of intestine.


Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Pediatric Surgery. 


Jordan is a graduate of UC San Diego School of Medicine and is a current general surgery resident in New York with an interest in pediatric surgery. His research in the lab is focused on the use of skin-derived precursor cells for the treatment of Hirschprung's Disease, and other diseases involving enteric nervous system dysfunction. Jordan's other project is investigating the use of stem cells to regenerate enteric epithelium in a murine model of enterocyte dysfunction causing iron deficiency anemia. 

Outside the lab, Jordan enjoys the California sun, being close to family, and spending time with his new wife, Kristie.


Anne-Laure Thomas

Anne-Laure primarily joined Dr Dunn's lab in June 2015 as an Intern Student while completing her Masters Degree in Bioengineering in Nice, France.


After graduating in July 2016, she started her new position as the Lab Manager. Anne-Laure's research focuses on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Her first project is to derive pluripotent skin cells to grow neuroglial precursors for the treatment of neuromuscular dysfunction. She is also designing and 3D-printing implantable surgical devices for intestinal lengthening.

In her free time, Anne-Laure likes to be close to the ocean, enjoys attending dance classes, and exploring San Francisco.


Qianqian (Cassie) Wang

Qianqian Wang (Cassie) is a PhD student in Dr. Dunn's lab.


In 2012, Cassie received her B.S in Polymer Science and Engineering at Zhejiang University in China. Cassie’s project is focused on the regeneration of both smooth muscle layers and the epithelial layer of the intestine. She is trying to grow functional intestinal smooth muscle in vitro, and to build the villi structure of the epithelial layer.

Cassie likes dancing, watching movies, swimming, and Chinese poetry. She can be reached at


Lauren Wood

Lauren is a research resident in the lab of Dr. James Dunn. 


In 2016, she received her MD from Stanford and stayed to pursue her residency training in General Surgery. Lauren joined Dr. Dunn's lab in 2018 during her professional development years. Her research is focused on developing methods to denude the epithelial lining of the small intestine to prime the tissue to engraft intestinal stem cells. Lauren is also analyzing the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving spring distraction enterogenesis, or how segments of bowel lengthen when exposed to stretch.

Outside of the lab and hospital, Lauren enjoys all things food (eating, cooking, baking), reading, travelling and spending time with friends and family. 



Abstracts and Presentations

Three-dimensionally printed surface features to anchor endoluminal spring for distraction enterogenesis

"Springs with bidirectional hooked surface features were anchored to the intestine for up to 4 weeks without migration. Bidirectional features printed on springs prevented the premature migration of endoluminal springs. These novel spring anchors allowed for their endoluminal placement without any sutures."

Spontaneous and Periodic Contractions of Murine and Human Intestinal Muscularis Cells

Mechanically induced development and maturation of human intestinal organoids in vivo

"... we show that the incorporation of uniaxial strain, using compressed nitinol springs, in human intestinal organoids transplanted into the mesentery of mice induces growth and maturation of the organoids."

Double Plication for Spring-Mediated in-Continuity Intestinal Lengthening in a Porcine Model

Dr. Dubrovsky presented research done with Dr. James Dunn at the 13th Annual Academic Surgical Congress

A Novel Culture System for Adult Porcine Intestinal Crypts

A new "method [was developed that maintains] juvenile and adult porcine crypt cells long-term in culture. Porcine enteroids and spheroids can be successfully passaged and transduced by using lentiviral vectors."

Intestinal Matrix Prevents Therapeutic Ultrasound from Causing Inertial Cavitation in Tumescent Subcutaneous Tissue

Dr. James Dunn collaborated with the University of California at Los Angeles's Physics Department to find that subcutaneous tisseu campens inertial cavitation. 

Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor eluting Microspheres Enhance Distraction Enterogenesis

"Sustained release bFGF microspheres enhanced distraction enterogenesis through improved vascularity. The synergy of growth factors such as bFGF with distraction enterogenesis may yield improved results for the future treatment of patients with short bowel syndrome."